Even in the wake of the trust issues that erupted from the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data-privacy scandal, the incident has morphed into a different kind of lesson for small businesses—that the power and influence of social media must be embraced, not feared.
The fact is, the scandal will not deter small biz from the trend of investing more in Facebook, new research reveals—nearly 60 percent of U.S. small businesses plan to spend more time and money on Facebook in 2018, according to a new survey from business news and how-to site The Manifest.
“Facebook’s usership may dip slightly because individuals will choose not to use the platform after news of the Facebook Cambridge Analytica situation, but the platform still remains a key player in building relationships with customers,” said Charlotte Chipperfield, CEO of social media agency Chipperfield Media, in a news release.
Businesses still rely on Facebook as a successful marketing tool.
Almost all businesses will increase investment in social media
The reliance on and increased investment in social media is not limited to Facebook, the survey finds—92 percent of small businesses plan to increase their investment in social media overall in 2018.
“More companies see the importance of social media, so more are starting to invest in it,” said Shawn Alain, president of social media agency Viral in Nature, in the release. “That number will keep going up.”
Social media is an essential marketing tool, and the number of businesses relying on it will continue to increase.
Engagement is the most important metric
Once businesses invest in social media, how do they measure its worth?
Engagement is the most valued metric businesses use to track the success of their social media efforts—20 percent of small businesses rank it as the most important social media metric.
Engagement demonstrates interest in the content a business is presenting, experts say.
“Engagement is absolutely the best metric to track,” Alain said. “You can have a million followers, but if you’re getting no engagement, you’ve got nothing. You need engagement to succeed on social media.”
Half of small businesses pay for social media advertising
Social media advertising has also become an important part of a business’s successful social media strategy, the survey found.
Nearly half (46 percent) of small businesses pay for social media advertising.
“Social media advertising has become more common place,” said Darren Cabral, CEO of social media marketing agency Suits Social, the release reports. “Social media is a pay-to-play game now. Fewer businesses are putting out door hangers and flyers. That money is going to go somewhere, and… they use it for social media.”
Overall, the survey indicates that most businesses value social media and will continue to rely on social media marketing as part of their broader digital marketing efforts.
The Manifest’s 2018 Small Business Social Media Survey included 351 small business owners or managers from across the U.S. with fewer than 500 employees.
Want more like this?
Subscribe to get daily or weekly PR News updates from Bulldog Reporter
Today’s consumers are realizing that both online and in-store shopping offer key advantages and drawbacks, and they want to shop wherever and whenever they want with the benefits of both the digital and physical experience. As retailers look for ways to differentiate...
Now that 2018 is behind us, it’s time to look at how technology will continue to change the way the world operates in 2019. We turned to the experts—the reporters covering these issues every day—to find out what trends, technologies, companies, and topics will be top...
New research from video cloud services provider Brightcove analyzes global consumer consumption preferences across generations when it comes to live and on-demand streaming video content. According to the firm’s 2018 Global Consumer Streaming Habits Survey, 58 percent...